SUIRIN: Computer-Augmented Healing

SUIRIN, by Satou Tokuhisa and Masa Inagake, is an installation that in a sense demonstrates how Augmented Reality technology could help people relieve stress. The device looks relatively simple at a glance – a container with water and floating glass balls called “ukidama.â€? Just play with the water and the balls, then you’ll be rewarded by calming, ambient light, sound and smoke. You might eventually get immersed in the feedback-control loop that may make you forget about your stressful day.

[Using SUIRIN. Courtesy of Satoru Tokuhisa]

The key of this installation is the sophisticated sound augmentation mechanism using four microphones, FFT-based sound processing, and four surround speakers. What you hear from the speakers is something similar to suzumushi (bell-ring cricket)’s sound. This auditory experience is enhanced by the lighting, smoke and tactual sensation.

This is what I would call an Iyashi-kei installation. Iyashi-kei is a Japanese word meaning “a genre related to healing.� This word is relatively new but now very popular and used to describe everything including music, films, things, places, and people. Electroplankton is an Iyashi-kei game, Jennifer Aniston is an Iyashi-kei actress, and so on.

Anyway, I shouldn’t forget to mention that this installation was shown at SIGGRAPH2005!

Related website:
Satoru Tokuhisa